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Woodbury Gordmans staff, customers relieved by non-closure announcement

The Woodbury Gordmans at Tamarack Village will remain open, the company announced this weekend. File photo by Youssef Rddad

Employees at the Woodbury Gordmans are breathing a sigh of relief after receiving news their store would remain open for the foreseeable future.

Several stores faced potential closures when the national discount retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. Company leaders for the Nebraska-based chain said they planned to liquidate all company assets if they didn't find a buyer.

"We're very fortunate, and so is my team," said John Phillips, the Woodbury store's general manager. "We can always find something (else), but being a family and a team is what's most important."

The Woodbury location would be the only remaining Gordmans in the state after the company listed five other Minnesota stores in its bankruptcy filings.

Gordmans joins several national retailers that have been forced to shutter stores or file for bankruptcy protection following rapid changes in consumer trends and declining sales.

Woodbury customers expressed their disappointment on social media following news of potential closures last month.

Despite the gloomy news and strong customer reaction, Phillips said he's noticed a significant uptick in business over the past few weeks. "We've kind of been all hands on deck here," he said.

The store employs about 80 associates, but that number has regressed to about 30 people in recent weeks, Phillips said. "I'm definitely hiring right now," he said.

Last month, Gordmans' President and CEO Andy Hall said stores would remain open and operate as usual during bankruptcy processing and while the company sought potential buyers.

Houston-based retailer Stage Stores recently announced it would acquire more than half of Gordmans' stores after emerging as the highest bidder over the weekend.

The company said it planned to purchase the most profitable locations for more than $75 million.

The Woodbury Gordmans, which opened in 2011 at Tamarack Village, tends to be among the most profitable locations, Phillips said.

"It's awesome to see we're going to maintain and continue building here in Woodbury," Phillips said.